Ulster wing Andrew Trimble has been ruled out of Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy after suffering a broken right hand.
The 26-year-old picked up the injury during Ulster’s European Cup victory over fellow Magners League side Aironi at the weekend and the results of the X-rays have shown Trimble has broken a metacarpal.
It is hoped Trimble will return in time for Ireland’s second fixture against France on Sunday February 13.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney is still awaiting on news of Stephen Ferris and Tommy Bowe who are both having scans on knee injury’s.
Trimble joins Rob Kearney and Geordan Murphy the sidelines, the duo already ruled out with a knee and foot injury respectively.